We suppose you’re in a dilemma over what type of bathroom floor tiles you should choose for your bathroom. It can be frustrating trying to get the right information, however you’re in the right place. It is important to consider your preferred style, lifestyle and budget and bathrooms or toilets typically vary in size and color but one thing to have in mind; is that “whatever design or material is chosen, it should be relaxing”. After all, it should be more than just a room; envisioning your bathroom as a place to prepare for the day and a place to unwind when your day is done alone should be enough reason to prompt you into making the best decisions regarding how the design should be, with well-considered details. This article will help you determine the best materials to use for your bathroom flooring, from finishes that will make you and your guest eager (at least till you get used to it) to always visit your bathroom due of the comforting tone it offers.
Tiles are made from different raw materials like ceramics, glass and other materials, but the best out of the lot is the ceramic tiles, they exist in a variety of styles and colours, can be properly maintained, is quite affordable and it acts tremendously well against moisture although it can be quite slippery.
To gain for information we are going to be exploring each one of these materials giving out our best opinions on them; what material is best for you including their pros and cons.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING BATHROOM FLOOR TILES
In most parts of the house, flooring choices mainly comes down to the aesthetic feel. Most times you want your living room, bedroom, dining room and other delicate parts of the house to look beautiful and pleasant to the eyes. The case isn’t similar to bathrooms flooring; the appearance while important is second to performance; that is, how the tiles will perform under certain degrees of stress. Water which is a vivid example of stress event or material is a common sight in bathrooms. Moisture ruins wrongly floored tiles quite quickly; these aren’t the only factor to consider when choosing flooring tiles for your bathroom.
Other factors should quite rightly be considered as well such as;
- Cost effectiveness
- Installation process
TYPES OF BATHROOM FLOOR TILES MATERIALS
VINYL FLOORING TILES:
They are pleasant and good looking to the eyes and are one the most popular, cheapest, most durable and oldest tiles option available. They are your go to option when extreme amounts of water are expected, such as in your kids bathrooms or laundry rooms. They come in large sizes and can be installed with very few seams in a small bathroom; vinyl flooring tiles also come in widths of around 5 inches and lengths of around 48 inches. There are thousands of style options available because of its popularity among users.
PROS AND CONS
- They are cost effective.
- Vinyl flooring tiles are quite easy to install and can be done by you.
- Tile steams are waterproof.
- They are easy to replace.
- Has a poor resale value.
- Gaps and bumps on sub-floor can telegraph to the vinyl surface.
CERAMIC AND PORCELAIN TILES:
Ceramic tiles are the best for bathroom flooring, as they are also quite water resistant, very cheap and stylish. Like stone, porcelain tile can achieve a solid rich texture feeling. It has quite similar characteristics with vinyl tiles as it is waterproof, quite fairly cheap and looks great in appearance to the eyes.
You might be possibly wondering if there is a difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles. Porcelain is a sub part of the ceramic family and share most of their characteristics except one; their water absorption rate differs. Porcelain have water absorption rate of 0.5-percent or less.
There are different types of ceramic tiles, which make it easier to create the exact floor you want as it has different variety of styles. You might even wish to use a ceramic tile that looks and feels like wood or stone. They also come in a variety of size and shapes which enhances creativity. Ceramic tiles are considered one of the best because they clean up well and resist pools of standing water. They are cold and slippery although smaller tiles are less slippery because more grouts are used and they grouts acts as a non-skid surface.
Types of ceramic floor tiles
They are ceramic floor tile is available in both glazed and unglazed forms. Ceramic are made from clay because or earth unglazed tile has some of the same drawbacks as stone tile.
Glazed Ceramic: Quite the majority of ceramic tiles are manufactured with glaze to create an impervious seal over the surface of the natural clay material. The glazed surface is tough, waterproof, and is majorly stain resistant. It doesn’t need any protective finish or sealer of any kind.
Unglazed Ceramic: These types of ceramic are made from clay and sediments which are usually molded hard in a kiln. It is very porous in its raw or natural state and will quite readily absorb liquids and other staining agents. This property of unglazed ceramic can however be prevented to some degree by sealing the floor with a chemical ceramic of high quality tile sealer. They are not as durable as other available options but are still chosen nonetheless because of the natural beauty the pure clay has to offer.
Terra Cotta: Terra cotta is a specific form of unglazed ceramic that are made from a distinction of red clay found in rural Mexico and parts of Europe. These materials usually produce tiles with different patterns and styles that are mostly quite attractive. However, the porosity of the material is usually a concern and must be sealed to prevent stains and absorption of moisture.
PROS AND CONS
- Variety of styles to choose from.
- Cleans up quite well.
- Variety of sizes and shapes.
- Forms a good partnership with radiant heat.
- Good resale value makes it a no brainer.
- It can get quite cold under foot.
- Often sterile-looking
- Can get quite slippery
- Hard under foot, so it is difficult to stand on long periods barefooted.
Glass tiles on bathroom floors can imbue a room with a sense of lavish luxury, because of their luxuriousness they are quite a costly option to consider and maintenance are quite difficult to carry out, so this might not be a cost effective option. It’s necessary to understand the characteristics of glass materials before you make a decision.
PROS AND CONS
- Design: The biggest attribute of using glass as a floor finishing is its elegant design, the type of beauty that can be achieved using glass tiles is remarkable as they can be quite pleasing to the eyes.
- Easy to clean: Glass tiles are quite resistant to mold, mildew and stains. They also have a tendency to show dirt quite easily so you will always know when it’s time to clean. They are quite easy to clean and can be wiped down with a damp cloth or can also be quite easily mopped up with warm water. They are also resistant to chemical substance as they aren’t porous.
- Appearance: Most of glass tiles are luminous in nature except the darkest of tiles will tend to reflect light rather than absorb it. This makes them glow with a luminous radiance that can’t be found in any flooring material adding a unique form of beauty to it.
- Durability: Glass tiles are durable and resistant to cracking under anything less than a sharp direct force applied with a hammer. Scratches are another matter entirely as glass tiles will surely scratch.
- Installation: It is difficult to install unlike ceramic tiles, if you are not careful, the adhesiveness will show through the tile unless you are an experienced in the art. The expensive nature of the material makes a mistake a non-starter.
- Cost: The biggest drawback of using this glass tiles is the high price it requires to buy it, it isn’t something most people can afford.
- Vulnerability to Scratches: Although glass tiles are durable and resistant to stains, but they are vulnerable and are quite easily susceptible to scratches. The scratches accumulate overtime and after several years the glass tiles installation will need to be replaced. Although there are ways to hide the scratches by using different colors and finishes.
- Slippery: Although textured finishes can be delivered to the tiles, and grout lines can cause some traction to occur. In wet glass tiles, they are especially an enhanced slipping hazard.
NATURAL STONE TILE:
There are quite a lot of similarities between ceramic tiles and the various natural stone materials that are available. The key difference is in the melted glass glaze that can be applied to ceramics to protect them from damages and stains. Natural stone comprises a variety of specific materials, each of which has unique properties and characteristics. They include:
- Granite: Granite are the hardest and densest stone material used mostly for constructions, they can be polished smooth, left in a naturally gauged state or honed flat. Although it is resistant to stains but it is somehow porous and should be closed after installation, to protect both the tiles and the grout lines between them.
- Slate: Slate are almost as hard as granite, slate are materials that consists of layers of flat, which gets compressed by the weight of the earth into solid pieces. This property gives the material a very strong structure, thus making it quite resistant to cracks and damages. Slate should be chemically sealed after installation because of their porous nature.
- Sandstone: Sandstone are extremely porous materials, they need to be treated with multiple applications of a penetrating sealer and a surface sealer on a regular basis. They are not recommended to be used in bathrooms and other wet environments.
- Limestone: They offer moderate density and strength and are quite porous.
PROS AND CONS
- Low maintenance makes it an excellent choice.
- Natural stones can be damaged by acid, so you have to avoid the use of any acidic cleaners, as they will cause a reaction in the stone which will most likely result in permanent stain.
- Natural stones are prone to chipping along the edges and at the corner of the tile.
ENGINEERED WOOD TILES:
Under high moisture conditions they are quite better than solid wood tiles due to their dimensional stability. They have plywood base that holds up well against moisture. Plus, engineered wood flooring looks a bit more like wood because of the upper layer being real hardwood. If you are quite interested in having a natural wood tiles in your bathroom then, engineered wood is the best option available. All types of wood, no matter how protected it seem to be, is susceptible to damage in bathrooms.
PROS AND CONS.
- Dimensional stability makes it a decent choice above other tiles options.
- Real hardwood on the upper layer makes it look like authentic wood.
- It is moderately expensive to install
- Over sanding can wear through the upper layer.
LAMINATE FLOORING TILES:
Laminate flooring tiles are a better bathroom flooring choice than most solid wood; the upper layer of the laminate flooring tile simulates a pictorial view of oak, slate, marble or mostly wood. They can work in a bathroom if you protect the wood base from moisture. Laminate flooring tiles are easy to clean but still have that wood chip base and should there be contact with moisture will definitely expand and bubble up. It is not possible yet to waterproof laminate flooring tiles.
PROS AND CONS:
- They are very cheap and are readily available.
- They are quite easy to install.
- They can collect static
- They cannot be repaired if damaged by moisture
This is solely having process hardwood as flooring in your bathroom; however if they have no real protection against moisture, the smallest of moisture that finds its way into the wood will eventually destroy it. They are only slightly better than carpet and aren’t easy to install as it requires a long process of treatments.
PROS AND CONS
- It is quite appealing with regards to its appearance.
- They feel warm under the foot.
- They are not easy to install and require hiring professional installers if you want to make them perfect.
- They are rot out with consistent contact with moisture.
With the knowledge gained in this guide thus far, you should be able to make the best decision that suits your style, budget and lifestyle.